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« Sign guy ready to brave cold temps | Main | Apache Mall applies to develop Scheels store, new restaurant »

January 16, 2014

Downtown parking lot sells for $2.8M

Developers continue to jockey for position in downtown Rochester, with the latest move being Titan Development's $2.8 million purchUSbanklotase of a large parking lot.

Rochester's Titan, the organization spearheaded by Andy and Gus Chafoulias, bought the 1.4-acre lot at 402 First Ave. S.W. from U.S. Bank on Dec. 31. It's a large piece of open land next to US Bank's downtown branch.

"It's an important piece of real estate as it relates to the urban village development in that area, but we don't really have a plan for it at the moment," said John Beltz, Titan's vice president of brand management and development.

WordsplayerstheaterThis buy enhances Titan's position in that part of downtown. The local firm also bought the Words Players youth theater building, just around the corner at 12 Fourth St. S.W. Beltz described it as "a forward thinking investment," when it happened at last summer. The 63-year-old building cost $400,000.

"There's no question that it (the U.S. Bank lot combined with the Words Players building) assembles a very important piece of downtown that we want to do something constructive with and something complimentary to the downtown master plan as we go forward," said Beltz. "But what that looks like, we just don't know yet."

U.S. Bank's branch at 401 First Ave. S.W. sits at the center of that "very important piece of downtown." And the bank plans to remain there.

"The branch will continue to operate with parking and drive-through banking access," said Pat Swanson, U.S. Bank's spokesman in response to emailed questions.

In fact, U.S. Bank even has permit applications in the pipeline to renovate the 37-year old brick building. The branch has 15 employees based there.

Does being surrounded by possible future development cause U.S. Bank any concern about the future of its branch?

"We’re pleased to see growth and development in Rochester," responded Swanson by email.

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